Iris Apfel reveals secret to her long-standing marriage with late husband Carl

In association with Cunard Transatlantic Fashion Voyage

Sharnaz Shahid

It’s been two years since fashion legend Iris Apfel lost her husband Carl at the age of 100 – just a few days shy of his 101st birthday. During an event with Cunard at New York Fashion Week, Iris sat down with HELLO! Online and admitted she is still "dealing with the loss" of her beloved partner as she opened up the secret to their six decades-long marriage. "He was fabulous," the American icon shared.

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"We had mutual understanding. But a sense of humour played a big part." Iris, 96, went on to speak about the importance of "compromising". She revealed: "There was a sense of curiosity, giving one another enough space. I didn’t expect him to love all of my friends, and he didn’t love all my friends – which was probably ok. We didn’t have to do things together all the time. We did almost everything together but sometimes he loved football, and I hated football. It was one of the best things about getting married, I didn’t have to go to any football games. I never told him, 'Don’t go to a match' because he could go. There were things that he didn’t like to do that I would want to do."


Offering her advice to other couples, Iris added:

"You have to realise that you are individuals that get married - you are not one person. I don’t think you should try to change a person too much because you then become a nag. But humour is very very important."

Famed for her eccentric taste and for being an inspiration to women of all ages, Iris became the subject of an award-winning documentary – aptly called Iris – thanks to filmmaker Albert Maysles. The special film followed Iris’ fabulous life, giving fans an insight into her marriage to Carl and the reason behind her flamboyant fashion. When asked about her late husband’s input, Iris admitted that Carl loved her celebrity style status – even more so than the icon herself. "Frankly, he encouraged me," she said. "He got more of a kick out of it than I do. I’m a very private person and I don’t like people asking me too many questions, prying into what I do and don’t do because I don’t think it’s anyone’s business."